Reinventing proskynesis: Callisthenes and the peripatetic school

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Many have felt to be anachronistic the casting of proskynesis in the court of Alexander the Great as a matter of worship of the king. Taking this premise as its starting point, this article explores the possible origins of this presentation of Alexander's proskynesis, an understanding that is articulated most fully in the 'proskynesis debates' of Arrian (4.10-12) and Curtius (8.5-6). It is argued that the misrepresentation was a deliberate strategy cultivated in the Peripatos, and that it was designed to deflect opprobrium away from Callisthenes and, by extension, away from the Peripatos itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-282
Number of pages23
JournalHistoria - Zeitschrift fur Alte Geschichte
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


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